Most of us grew up having chores to do each week to gain some pocket money. Of course, as children that was all it was to us but as adults we now realise it was more about teaching us to not only appreciate the things we were given but to put in some effort in exchange for them.
From the time your child can easily ask for items it is okay to start introducing them to the concept of helping around the house. There is no need for pocket money at this young age as it is more about the concept of helping others. As your child gets to school age then you can implement a pocket money exchange.
For the two to three year olds, the following are chores that help them grasp the concept of helping around the house:
Helping with the groceries
When you do the weekly groceries put a couple of things in a grocery bag and ask your child to help you put the groceries away. Make sure they are things that are easy to put away and not heavy so that they feel a sense of pride and achievement at having achieved the task on their own.
Tidying up the bath toys
At the end of bath time give your child the task of putting the bath toys back into their bag/bucket ready for next time.
Tidying their room
Begin at a young age to instil in your child the need to keep their space tidy. Once a week make a time to have them help you tidy their room. Give them the task of putting their clothes away in the draws they can reach once you have folded them. Don’t get hung up on whether the clothes stay folded, just enjoy the experience of teaching your child the process of independence.
Making their bed.
If a child can sleep in a bed then they are old enough to make their bed. Of course, the standard won’t be to your standard but it’s time to move aside and allow them the freedom to do their best.
Helping with meal preparation.
Create a workspace where they can easily and safely be beside you to assist with meal preparation. Simple things like putting the cut vegetables into a bowl are easy enough for a child to do and shows them the importance of preparing healthy meals.
Keep in mind the age of your child. Don’t chastise them for not doing a chore to the way you would do it, even if you have shown them a dozen times. They are learning and nothing helps learning more than praise and encouragement.
Do you ask or expect your child to do chores? What do you think is age appropriate for a two-to-three year old?